27 8 / 2014

BI is about data and visualizations so we think that our app’s chrome and controls should get our of your way when you are working with your data.  We did this from the start with Android.

And now we are working to give you this same experience in our iOS apps.  

We are woking hard on our next update and this is something we hope to deliver.  For now consider this lab work and remember:

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25 8 / 2014

You may have noticed our app store update today, or if you are an enterprise customer you may have noticed a new version of our Security Toolkit for iOS.

Aside from the long list of bug fixes and general enhancements there were a number of key updates:

  • Improved Thumbnail Previews. On the iPad, thumbnail previews now refresh every time the analysis is opened. This eliminates the need to remove the app in order to clear stale previews. NOTE: For performance reasons, if a preview is less than five minutes old, it is not updated.
  • Security Toolkit Enhancement. Now when you get the security toolkit, you also get a sample XCode project along with it.
  • Mobile Layout. By default, analyses and dashboards open with the desktop layout on the iPad. There is now an option that allows you to toggle to the mobile layout. The layout applies to each analysis or dashboard individually, and persists for the duration the analysis or dashboard remains open. Tap Options, then tap Mobile Layout.

  • “All Column Values” Option for Prompts. For prompts that support the ‘All Column’ selection option, this is now available in Oracle BI Mobile. In the prompts drop down, tap All Column Values to select all options at once.

We have some great stuff planned for this fall so stay tuned!!

11 8 / 2014

We’ve talked about the Google Search integration, now let’s see it in action!

11 8 / 2014

First, we need to verify your version of the Google Search client.  Simply scroll to the bottom of your card stream and select the 3-dot menu (action overflow) in the lower right-hand corner.  Select the option that says, ‘Help & feedback’.  The next screen will show your version at the top.  In order to take advantage of the Google Search integration, you’ll need a client version of 3.6 or later.  Google is in the midst of rolling out updates, so don’t worry if you haven’t received it yet. Check the Play Store daily, and you should see the updated client very shortly (if you don’t already have it).

Once we’ve verified we have the correct version, the next step is to enable integration with Google Search.  In the latter portion of the video, you see we once again navigate to the bottom of our card stream in Google Now and select the 3-dot menu (action overflow).  This time, we select the ‘Settings’ option.  On the next screen, we see an entry titled ‘Phone Search’- that’s the one we’re after.  Once selected, we are now presented with a dialog that has a series of checkboxes- each entry representing an app that has Google Search integration.  By default, 3rd-party apps such as Oracle BI Mobile are not enabled. This is done to allow the user complete control over his or her data.  Simply check the box next to Oracle BI Mobile and we’re now all set to enjoy the Google Search integration goodness.

11 8 / 2014

We’ve got an update today that I’m particularly excited about- Google Search integration!   What does this mean exactly?  It means that you will now be able to search for your most heavily used BI content using Google Search on your device without having to open the Oracle BI app first.

There’s a simple piece of setup required, but fear not, we’ve got a video to walk you through the process and another video to demonstrate how the feature will appear on your device.

Items will become searchable as they are consumed, so as you normally browse and open content, those items will then become searchable in your Google Search app.  What’s more, we’ve leveraged Google’s search suggestion API so you’ll be able to see your items by typing just the first few characters- no need to tap out the entire name.

The goal behind this feature is to make accessing your content as low friction as possible. What better way to do that than to provide integration directly into your device’s Google Search?

28 7 / 2014

Last week we updated our Android app with a few key features and lots of bug fixes.


Key Updates:

  • Support for action links, including action link navigation history

  • Support for dashboard sections

  • Support for Briefing Books
  • Add to Favorites now at the dashboard-page level

  • Location support on maps in dashboards
  • Bug fixes

I’ll keep this short because we are busy working on a bunch of good stuff…

21 7 / 2014

For those that keep abreast with the latest ongoings with Android, Google I/O is an event eagerly anticipated each year.  What new features will be announced?  And more importantly, what sort of sweet hardware will be handed out to attendees?

This year’s Google I/O represented the greatest fundamental change in Android since the platform’s inception.  Google announced (and gave away to attendees) Android Wear devices, the Android One program for emerging markets, an entirely new design language for both mobile and web called ‘Material Design’, and offered developers a preview of the next major version of Android, simply named Android L at this point (I’m pulling for Lollipop to be the next name in Android’s line of confectionary-inspired version names).

Our Android Mobile BI team has been hungrily digesting all the information put forth at the event, and the areas that we see being the most impactful to Mobile BI going forward include Android Wear, the sea change that is Material Design, and lastly, a feature of Android L that has not been officially confirmed, but exists in whisper form as something called ‘Nearby’.

Android Wear in any other year would have been the runaway star of the show.  A couple months prior, Google released its SDK for wearables, but I/O represented the first time people were able to shroud their wrists in the new devices.  What is Android Wear?  Android Wear is a slimmed down version of Android that allows notifications from your paired phone to be surfaced on your watch.  In addition, Android Wear also offers support for standalone apps present on the watch itself.  From a BI perspective, the most prescient feature is the ability to surface notifications.  We have a few new features in mind that will allow the user to be alerted of changes to data or the availability of new data via the wearable device.  The goal will be to make data come to the user in a timely fashion versus the user needing to search for it.

Material Design is something that bears special mention.  Historically, Android has been panned for its UI/UX (user interface and user experience).  This largely due to the fact that Android is open source and Google allows OEMs to customize much of the software running on the device.  This has led in many instances to a very fractured experience from device to device, OEM to OEM.  Samsung is by far the most popular Android device maker, but is also the one that strays the furthest from Google’s design guidelines, and, in many cases, create (in the author’s opinion) an inferior user experience.  With the introduction of Material Design, Google seems to be raising the design bar to such a level that they are effectively daring OEMs to do something different at the expense of looking clumsy and dated by comparison.  Our design and dev team is taking the principles of Material Design to heart and has some pretty ambitious plans for realizing them in the Mobile BI app.

In recent years, Google has released a ‘Halo’ device in the fall as the flagship for the next version of Android via the Nexus line of devices. This year,developers were treated instead to a preview of the next version of Android, simply referred to as Android L.  Android L contains many, many new features.  The feature that the Mobile BI team is most excited about has not been officially confirmed, but is known to Android sleuthers as ‘Nearby’.  In short, the Nearby feature in Android L will allow your device to be aware when it is near certain people, or rather, their devices.  The potential impact for such a feature is incredible across the entire spectrum of mobile apps, but for Mobile BI in particular, we’ve got several ideas we’re prototyping that can leverage this capability (when it surfaces, hopefully this fall).  Everything from making sharing even easier to having contextual triggers based on a certain person’s proximity to preload a certain report- the possibilities are really tremendous.

This year’s I/O has really gotten the team excited about the future of Android; stay tuned for updates to the Android Mobile BI app.  We’ve got many new features in store.

14 7 / 2014

What is the BI mobile data access dilemma? Currently, to maintain tight security requirements (to prevent hacking) you have to trade off usability (enter security credentials multiple times to get access to data multiple times). What if BI was so pervasive that you looked at it as often as email? How can we keep it safe and still make it easy to use?

Read more or take a listen: https://blogs.oracle.com/bi_pulse/entry/bi_mobile_the_data_access

30 6 / 2014

In case you missed it we did a great BI Mobile App Designer (2.0) hands on lab where students went from uninstalled laptop to Mobile app deployment in 2 hours.  We had a few laptop and installation issues but that was to be expected in this format.  If you missed it don’t worry just check the OTN page for the MAD 2.0 trial edition (coming soon!) and you can create your own samples.


V2 New Features from Kan Nishida on Vimeo.

06 6 / 2014

When you work in the mobile space you have to follow and react to news all the time.  The iOS 8 and OSX announcements https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w87fOAG8fjk at WWDC are a good examples of such news, and there are some key features that have us most intrigued:

TouchID for apps - Security is key for the data we deliver and this could be just another tool for IT to leverage when deploying our enterprise app to data hungry end users.  Not sure if this will solve all the issues with regard to security and data access but it should help along with our Security Toolkit. http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/middleware/bi-enterprise-edition/downloads/bi-mobile-security-toolkit-1872818.html

Continuity - Our users are never working on just one device. They go from the commute (phone) to their office (computer) and to meetings (tablet) all day.  They want to start an analysis on one device and pick it up on any other device.  The iOS stuff is great but we live in a mixed device and OS world so we will look at this for some inspiration, but will have to think about how to do this cross platform.

WKWebView - OK this is super geeky and did not make too many of the articles, but this is huge.  This gives developers the ability to tap into WebKit.  Currently our iOS app loads content in a WebUIView, so long term, if we leverage this it can mean faster load times and javascript calls.  Any changes should be invisible to end users, but this is exciting for us.

Swifthttps://developer.apple.com/swift/ - This one is exciting and scary at the same time because it looks promising but it could mean a re-write.  We need to keep a close eye on this one…

OK keep in mind that this is all stuff that we are looking at along with customer requests, bugs,  and a bunch of our own ideas.  This does not imply any sort of roadmap.

You can check out our apps from the links below: